Badlani Foundation challenge grant to award $40,000 in scholarships

Nikhil Badlani

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Thanks to the incredible generosity of the West Orange community, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation and the West Orange Scholarship Fund will be able to award nearly $40,000 to the West Orange High School graduating Class of 2017 in memory of Nikhil Badlani. The NBF Challenge was issued in February with the NBF matching up to $10,000 in donation.

“We would like to thank the West Orange community for their generous contributions in memory of Nikhil,” Sangeeta Badlani, Nikhil’s mother, said in a press release.

The Nikhil Badlani Foundation was established by Sangeeta and Sunil Badlani following the death of their son in an automobile crash on June 11, 2011, caused when a distracted driver ran a stop sign in South Orange. The mission of the foundation is to promote traffic safety awareness and assist children in pursuing their dreams in music and academics — areas in which Nikhil excelled.

“This is a bittersweet time for us because Nikhil would have graduated this year,” Sangeeta Badlani said, “but we are very happy to see his friends graduate.”

As of April 1, $18,020 was raised by community contributions, including an anonymous $10,000 donation. The foundation will match the $10,000 challenge as well as provide its annual $10,000 in scholarship awards, Sunil Badlani said.

WOHS seniors complete an online application on the West Orange Scholarship Fund web page and a committee of trustees reviews the applications, determining scholarship recipients. The scholarships are awarded during Senior Awards Night, to be held this year on June 8 in the West Orange High School auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

WOSF treasurer Jim Quinn said that the fund is honored to continue its long-term partnership with the Nikhil Badlani Foundation and the Badlani family “and excited by the overwhelming support that we received from the great West Orange community in memory of Nikhil.”

“It will be a wonderful tribute to Nikhil’s memory on Senior Awards Night,” WOSF President Rich Rizzolo said in the release.

“Our heartfelt thanks to all of you and we hope to see everyone on June 8,” Sangeeta Badlani concluded.